By Andrew Moment, Judson University Team, 2014
I went to Paz Y Esperanza in Huánuco with a team of 20 volunteers from the Chicago area. From the minute I stepped inside the shelter, I felt welcomed and loved by all the women and girls in the shelter. I had honestly not expected that because of the history of many of the women and children. Soon enough, I was trying to communicate in pretty broken Spanish. I am pretty sure the girls were laughing at us, but they appreciated the attempt and seemed to enjoy our less than perfect Spanish.
Looking back at my time in the shelter, I realized I left with much more than I came with. I left seeing a shelter that is staffed by absolutely wonderful people who care about these women. I left with the memory of smiles that were so big and filled with so much hope, so that I could not help but smile back. As a team, we all left seeing the progress that Paz is making using their holistic approach. They are not only pursuing healing for the women, but they also seek justice. The biggest takeaway for our entire team is that no circumstances are too bad to still have hope. Jesus Christ meets everyone where they are at. The women at the shelter have had horrific things happen to them, but Paz is sharing the love of Jesus and letting them know that they are loved and cared about. Our whole team was incredibly challenged, and we admire the hard work that that each Paz y Esperanza worker is doing.